We still have a long way to go!
We made some progress last week in Austin. Last Thursday was the deadline for bills to come out of the Texas House and our opponents failed to move the most harmful legislation that had been introduced. That included more than 20 pieces of anti-LGBT legislation, from bills that would permit discrimination based on “sincerely held religious beliefs” to legislation that would allow the state to ignore a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality.
Texas Freedom Network, ACLU of Texas, Equality Texas and HRC have been fighting back from the moment these bills were introduced earlier this year. Because of the hard work of our team on the ground and thousands of members and supporters, H.B. 4105 - a profoundly discriminatory bill that would have barred county officials from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, no matter what the Supreme Court decides - failed to proceed as a stand-alone bill, along with multiple other bills that would limit the freedoms of LGBT people across the state.
This moment comes in part because of the tireless work of HRC staff and volunteer leaders who have stood up for equality. In our campaign against this legislation, we generated over 50,000 emails and thousands of calls to Texas legislators from our members, supporters and allies across the state in just the past week and a half. Our press shop has sent a dozen releases to reporters across the state sounding the alarm about the discriminatory nature of these bills; and online, we launched an aggressive social campaign directly targeting legislators at the Capitol.
But while we’ve passed an important procedural deadline, we’re not out of the woods yet. Another shameful anti-LGBT bill—one targeting LGBT parents seeking to adopt and foster children—may be heard as an amendment by the Texas legislature today, and if we’ve learned anything, it’s that opponents of equality don’t give up easily. That’s why HRC is back at the Statehouse today, working to ensure that no more bad bills are heard. And we’ll stay focused until the Texas session ends on June 1st.
The fight for full equality in Texas is a battle we’re determined to win. HRC’s 1.5 million members and supporters and countless allies across the country are standing together to support pro-equality legislation and ensure that every American can live, work, learn and love free from discrimination. And more and more Americans - including here in Texas - are standing on the right side of history.
The battle is far from over, and there’s no time to celebrate any victory. But we’ve shown that together, we can beat impossible odds. And we’re not going to stop until we win.